Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thoughts on Rereading

I don't reread often. I haven't looked back to check, but I would say that I reread books with my eyes slightly more often than rereading books with my ears. What I mean to say is - rereading books I've read with ears with my eyes and vice-a-versa. So far, my love for books I've reread with my eyes tends to remain unabated. My audio rereading after reading originally with my eyes hasn't fared very well. At least lately.

I've mentioned before that one cannot dog-ear or post-it an audio. Also, most of my audio reading is done on the run so I can't keep a notebook handy. If I try and stay stationery while reading with my ears, I often fall asleep, which is an argument for doing all stationery reading with ones ears via compact disc for easier finding of place upon awakening. I think I reread with my eyes to appreciate the language better.

I recently reread three books with my ears and found my opinions of the books changed in two of the three times. I've already written about my thoughts on revisiting The One and Only Ivan. I adored that book, and continue to do so, but didn't love the audio version. My negative feelings had to do with the voice of the narrator, or performance issues, not a change in opinion about the story. I'd like to ruminate a bit on the recent two audio-rereads.

Annexed by Sharon Dogar. Unabridged audiobook on 8 compact discs, 9 hours, 7 minutes. Read by Oliver Wyman and full cast, with afterword by the author. Brilliance Audio, January, 2012. 9781441878083. (Borrowed from public library)

This is the story of Anne Frank's annex from Peter's POV. When I read the arc several years ago, I had mixed feelings. I complained that I didn't connect with Peter and it seemed a bit fragmented. I liked a lot about it but wondered whether Anne's story was too iconic to approach with any other POV.

Thanks to a brilliant performance by Oliver Wyman, I have changed my mind. I did connect with Peter through the audio. The rest of the cast were equally successful at making this book come to life. I did have trouble with the shifts to Peter's dying thoughts. These were delineated by italics in the text. But by and large, I came to appreciate this book more fully through audio.

Splintered by A.G. Howard. Unabridged audiobook on 10 compact discs, 12 hours, 42 minutes. Read by Rebecca Gibel. AudioGo, May, 2013.  9781620647257 (Purchased.)

I enjoyed this Alice in Wonderland spin back in January. I even commented that the requisite love triangle didn't gag me too much. All that flew out the window upon rereading with my ears. Rebecca Gibel's performance was serviceable, I didn't like her male voices and her voice for Morpheus drove me batty. Not that her voice for Jeb was much better. The male patronizing and posturing leaped from my car speakers and made me gag. I facepalmed more than once and asked myself how I missed this nauseating nonsense the first time around. 

I lost tons of credibility with my husband since I recommended this to him for a long drive to and from the beach house on a changeover weekend. It's a good thing that he can read and sleep easily in a car because that's what he did. "I hated it. How can you stand this crap?" was his comment upon returning home. 

How could I, indeed? I guess I just glossed over the ridiculous romance and focused on the way the author weaved in and/or played with the Alice story when I read with my eyes. I even featured the sequel, Unhinged, in a Waiting on Wednesday post. Am I still on board for the sequel? If I am, I will definitely be reading with my eyes. 

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